Cakes & CookiesDessertProvencal RecipesTasha PowellTaste: Food & Drink

Tarte Tropezienne a Delicious Recipe for Serious Bakers

Add a Little Saint Tropez to Your Day!

Tarte Tropezienne is a slice of French Heaven. Personally, I am a Tarte Tropezienne “Super Fan” and have made this pastry for 12 years. This long-time dessert favourite has been around for over 60 years. Brigitte Bardot made the Tropezienne famous by when she first moved to Saint Tropez.

To create this fantastic dessert, there are three separate parts to the recipe: the brioche, the pastry cream and the whipped cream. You require pearl sugar (sucre perlé), which can be purchased at Carrefour stores in France, at a gourmet food supplier or online. While these recipes require some time (and planning), it is an amazing treat for your friends and family!

Over the years, I have also done variations on making pastel-coloured creams. Although I do find that my French friends only want the classic version. After tasting Tarte Tropéziennes all over the South of France, my conclusion is that the best version is the freshest version because brioche is such a delicate bread. Tarte Tropézienne is nothing less than a slice of French heaven.

La Tarte Tropézienne Tasha Powell

Tarte Tropézienne Recipe

Because the brioche rises overnight, allow two (2) days to make your Tarte Tropéziennes. I make the pastry cream and whipped cream while the dough is rising on day two (2) so the project takes a bit of time management!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 10 hrs 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 8 servings


For the Brioche:

  • 5 oz (148ml) Milk
  • 1 oz (28g) fresh yeast or a 5 package of active dry yeast
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 7 oz (198g) Unsalted Butter softened
  • ½ oz (15g) Kosher salt
  • 1 lb (455g) bread flour
  • 6 oz (170g) Pearl Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar for finishing

For the Pastry Cream:

  • 16 oz (474ml) Milk (whole)
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean
  • 3.5 oz (100g) Granulated Sugar
  • 5 large Egg Yolks
  • 1 oz (28g) Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Gelatin sheets

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 8 oz (237ml) Heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz (113g) Powdered Sugar


Directions For the Brioche:

  • Create a “sponge” by blooming or activating the yeast in warm milk (100-110 degrees F). Then sprinkle with sugar and 2 oz. of flour and let this mixture bloom.
  • Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, set on LOW SPEED, add the eggs to your sponge.
  • Add flour, salt and butter. Mix for 10 minutes at low speed and 5 minutes at high speed. Add the salt at the end. The dough will be sticky and yellow in colour.
  • Next, spray a bowl with vegetable spray, add the dough, then cover in plastic and let it rise overnight. The dough should double in size.

Direction for the Brioche Day 2:

  • Form the dough into a disk and roll out until 1.4 inch thick. Allow dough to rise and double in size again. Brush the dough with egg wash, sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  • Next, make the pastry cream and whip cream (recipes below) and store it in the refrigerator before baking the brioche (while the brioche is rising).
  • Cook the dough approximately 25 minutes to a golden brown. Cool the brioche on a cooling rack. Cut the brioche into two pieces, horizontally.
  • Once the brioche is cooled, gently fold the pastry cream with the whipped cream, place in a piping bag and pipe (using a star tip) the cream on the bottom half of the brioche.
  • Then cover with brioche top and sprinkle with powdered sugar! Note: Keep the piped pastries chilled until an hour before serving.

Directions for the Pastry Cream:

  • Split the vanilla bean half and scrape the seeds from the bean.
  • Scald (heat until bubbles form) the milk with vanilla bean. Add the 3 gelatin sheets.
  • Meanwhile, add cornstarch to sugar and eggs and whisk until blended.
  • Temper the milk into the eggs, sugar and corn starch mixture (add the milk slowly and whisk vigorously to avoid the eggs cooking).
  • Now bring the mixture to a boil (to activate the cornstarch).
  • Pull off the stove and add the butter.
  • Place the pot in a cold bath (large bowl with ice water) and continue to stir until cool.
  • Next, pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming) and let it cool.
  • Chill the pastry cream in the refrigerator and allow it to set for 20 minutes, then fold in the whipped cream from the recipe below.

Directions for the Whipped Cream:

  • Directions for the Whipped Cream:
  • Using a whisk attachment for your mixer, whip the cream until it becomes slightly stiff, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and whip for another 30 seconds. Do not over whip.
  • Chill the whipped cream – it will eventually be folded in the pastry cream to make it more light and fluffy.


Tarte Tropéziennes can also be made in various individual sizes. Sometimes I make them in 1.4 oz or 40 gram (dough weight) individual sizes. Or for a Baby Trop – I cut the dough down to .7 oz or 20 grams.
Keyword Cakes, Dessert
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Sweet Reasons to Visit Saint Tropez:

This French Riviera city has a reputation for attracting movie stars and for its Vieux Port (marina) filled with impressive yachts. Even if your bank account balance does not include millions, there is plenty to do in and around Saint-Tropez. Here are some tips for a quick getaway to the coast.

The French Riviera is renowned for its rolling hills and outstanding vineyards. Rosé wines are a home-grown specialty, but the delicious whites and reds deserve some attention too. A trip to the Var is incomplete without sampling wines from the local vignobles. If you are heading to St Tropez and Grimaud, explore some of the region’s finest terroirs for wine production.

Today, the high season on the French Riviera is during the summer months. However, in the 19th century, it was in the cold winter months when wealthy foreigners escaped to the French coast. This stylish group left a permeant impression on the Riviera. Landmarks from that era include the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, art-deco homes and gardens filled with mimosas. The mimosa, part of the acacia family, is native to Australia, not the South of France. Originally planted in the 1850s in gardens of the “Riviera Set,” mimosas are celebrated along the coastline in winter.

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Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell

Tasha Powell is a food stylist and writer who specializes in working with celebrity chefs and leaders in the hospitality industry. She cooks and styles for monographs, cookbooks and Satellite Media Tours, working between North America and Europe. Take a look at her mouthwatering photos on Cooking with a French Twist.

Tasha also arranges culinary tours with Barbara Pitcher in Provence, France, in Sicily, Italy and in Parry Sound, Canada under Pitcher and Powell Cuisine and Culture.


  1. David Scott Allen
    June 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm — Reply

    This just became the dessert I will make for my birthday in August. Or for Carolyne’s birthday in August. Or, dare I say, both? I really cannot wait to try it…

    • CKAdmin
      June 17, 2020 at 5:24 pm — Reply

      LOL, I can hardly wait for the cake, although maybe not the birthday. xo

      • David Scott Allen
        June 18, 2020 at 6:39 am — Reply

        Yep, pretty much the same here. And this year it will be extra special in lockdown. Tant pis.

        • CKAdmin
          June 18, 2020 at 6:59 am — Reply

          Maybe it’s a sign we should really celebrate!

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